DISCLAIMER: VIDEO CONTAINS NUDITY
A wordless sonic ritual performance for the last full moon of winter, known as the Worm Moon.
The project explored concepts of intuition, energy, the parts of ourselves we put into our work, how meaning is created, and investigated the lines between the earnest/ridiculous, public/private, and theater/ritual. It also demonstrated the wonders of creating sound in unconventional ways and expanded the definition of music.
The performance began during the waxing moon. I created an ornate box, covered in hand painted paper and small metalworks. A sign instructed passersby to leave something of themselves there.
Objects collected ranged from hair ties, pills, pens, and matchbooks to jewelry, artwork, cat fur, and sentimental keepsakes. A notebook allowed participation via words and drawings.
The Worm Moon is also called the Lenten Moon. Since so much of my understanding of ritual comes from 1000+ Catholic masses I've attended; this inspired the structure of Worm Moon and amplified the ideas of community, celebration, and sacrifice.
The audience was guided to the ritual location in a procession. They received a score, detailing the parts of the ritual and indicating ways they could participate. I and my collaborators used the objects collected earlier to create sound and perform other ritual actions. The performance culminated in a sacrifice of worms to the Spring Chickens and a Fiasco of Bells, to welcome Spring. A reception with Hi-C, cookies, and a viewing of the moon through a telescope followed.
All elements of this performance were sonic, ranging from bells and breathing to shredding paper, clipping nails, playing objects as instruments, and chickens pecking drums. The performance owes a huge debt to M. A. Harms and Eliot Burk, who are strong improvisers and innovative performance artists. Rehearsing with them brought a number of discoveries that shaped the piece.
This video is a performance of its own, created as an exercise in condensing a 45 minute experience into 4 minutes.
The culmination of this work was Pink Moon, a ritual performed with a violin bow made from human hair.
WORM MOON was written by CLARE MARIE NEMANICH, who played THE CELEBRANT
THE CANTOR was M. A. HARMS ⁂ THE ACOLYTE was ELIOT BURK ⁂ THE USHER was FINTAN McCOLLOUGH, S.J.
THE SPRING CHICKENS were ADORASAURUS & BUCKBEAK
LIGHTING by Alejandro Melendez ⁂ ONE SHOT CAMERAWORK by ZOE HERTZBERG
Special thanks to Mary Kate Glenn, and all who interacted with the offering station.